Monday, March 17, 2008

The Saga of the Good Dress

*Well this is fitting. The picture has temporarily gone missing, just as the dress before it did! And this dress doesn't exist anymore either. The bottom is now a skirt and the top went on to a new incarnation as quilt squares!

Every year or so, I like to pay to have a dress made that will serve as my "good" dress; one made by a professional. Something made by a seamstress who is neat with her sewing, and who can serge the seams with an industrial serger. Last year’s attempt at having a good dress made was catastrophic.

The good dress arrived in plenty of time for me to wear it to a major conference at which I would be a speaker. Although it was just an inch or so too long, and the pattern on the material I had chosen not exactly what I had expected, it was constructed fairly well and the fit was good. It was worn a couple of times before my big presentation, and for the last time on the day on my big day. You see, I accidentally left it on a hook in the bathroom at the Motel 6 we were staying at, along with everything I wore under my dress. I didn’t even realize it until almost two weeks later. I called the motel and spoke to the same apathetic clerk who had checked us in, and, you guessed it, no one had turned in the dress. It was gone. What a waste.

About a month later, I went ahead and ordered another. Why not? I couldn’t really start married life without a good dress. I ordered it from one of those internet businesses that make modest dresses, a company I had used once before with excellent results. Dress #2 arrived when we returned from our wedding trip, and I was delighted with the fit and length. The material, not so much. Although the print was lovely, the material had an odd texture. I hoped it would soften in the wash. It did more than that- the seam connecting the bodice to the skirt had started to loosen after one laundering, and the lovely print did not hold its color. The material pilled quickly, also. After just three launderings on the gentle cycle, it looked like a work dress.

Sigh.

In the bottom of my fabric bin sat several yards of a beautiful high-quality cotton floral print that I had purchased almost a year before at a store out west. It was such a nice fabric that I had wanted to do something special with it, but hadn’t had time for such a thing. It seemed like the right time to finally use this material to make a “good” dress. And so I did:

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